It was almost night when Aldrick and Lin found a shelter, where they could get some rest until morning. It was a cave hidden from the most people by a thick layer of plants, vines, and other vegetation. The cave turned out to be quite spacious on the inside, and it seemed, they weren't the first ones to find it, because an old campsite was later found deeper in the cave. Lin checked if there were any traps in the cavern and after learning that there weren't any, she began restoring the site. At that time Aldrick went to find something they could eat for dinner. He soon returned with a huge boar, almost twice as big as those from the Empire's forests. As Lin began cooking it, Aldrick continued to investigate the cave, because its size seemed really suspicious. He went straight to the furthest corner of it and noticed strange carvings on the walls. They seemed to be written demi-humans language. Aldrick touched carvings with his hand and then followed them to the part of the wall, where they seemed to end.
"Aldrick! The food is ready! Come here before it gets cold!" Lin shouted.
"OK, I'll be right there, just give me a moment!" Aldrick said as he reached the floor near the wall he investigated. Something was not right, and he knew it. After eating Aldrick and Lin decided to go to sleep, as they had to get up as early as possible the next day to continue their journey. Though, it was obvious that things won't go as planned.
In the middle of the night, Aldrick woke up, because he heard something crumbling nearby. He got up and picked up his sword, while carefully waking Lin up. A first she seemed surprised, but soon she noticed the sounds as well. No doubt, they were coming from the wall Aldrick had been investigating. As both of them carefully came closer to the wall, Aldrick noticed a small ray of light coming from a small crack in the wall. He showed Lin that she needs to get back a little and, after she was far enough, pulled the sword from behind his back, getting ready to smash the wall. Loudly the wall fell from his mighty swing and behind it was a small passage with torches lit on its sides. Lin finished packing up their things and was ready to go.
As they ventured further into the passage it became wider, and soon they found themselves standing in another cave, much bigger than the one before, The duo stood on a cliff with a ladder leading down. Aldrick and Lin remained quiet for a while, and then they finally heard someone talking under the cliff.
"Someone found the back entrance into the mines, well, the cavern leading to it, as we made sure to close up the breach after the last time." the voice seemed to belong to a young man, though something strange about it worried Aldrick.
"Good, I don't want anyone else interfering with my plans. May Sha'Qudela be with you, acolyte." another man replied, however, judging from his voice, he was way older than the previous speaker. After he finished talking the crumbling begun once again and was way stronger and louder than any time before.
It was only natural to consider this a possible threat to the peace of not only Felgloom but of the whole Kinsglade Empire, and that is without taking into consideration how much such accomplishment would cost.
"What is the chance that this is the source of strange sounds, Lin? I'd give it around forty-five percent" Aldrick said with a visible sign of enthusiasm on his face.
"I won't give more than thirty" Lin answered with the same look, and so both were carefully thinking about what they're going to do. They didn't even speak to each other, because it was normal for them to come up with almost the same plans.
Now leaving our heroes to their thoughts, we shall move to a distant room in this maze of caverns. In this room, a ritual is performed by several men, wearing dark-red robes covered in different runes of Inuarik language, which is a native language of the most northern part of Kinsglade Empire. So as it seems these people come from the Empire, but what is it that they seek in the distant Nathanlim, in the Bitterwood Forest, which is to say on the south? As the ritual proceeds, crumblings become stronger and louder, and different things appear in the middle of the circle, some are disgustingly ugly, and others look like humans, but tormented to such state that it is impossible to guess whether they're still alive or already dead. This sight comes from a place called The Pit located in the Underworld, a separate reality, which is ruled by demons. Normally people couldn't enter the Underworld, but then one day an ancient mage performed a ritual, that caused two worlds to collide, creating the Darkness in between them and numerous holes in reality, which lead to it and back. But once either people or demons enter this realm, where there's no such thing as light, they must first seek the Candler, the one who guards this lifeless subworld, as it's for him to decide whether they may leave or not.
Returning to ritual, it appears that these Inuarik mages are trying to summons demons from the Underworld, but for what reason? These people were always considered calm and peaceful and proved to be such as they were known to be diplomats between different countries at wars (not only these in which Kinsglade Empire took part, but also these between other distant countries throughout the world).
"Asu'Halsa! Judh'Kaius! Sha'Qudela! Come, the harbingers of peace, and bring eternal peace to this world! We greet you with open arms as we wish for the worlds to coexist in peace", - the mages spoke as they were chanting the rest of their energy into the circle. And, finally, a figure of a creature begun to form in the middle. WIth the greatest of all crumblings, an entity appeared, knocking off all the mages to the walls of the cave and filling it with a thick purple mist. It was Judh'Kaius, the Harbinger of eternal sleep. He's a six-armed demon, who used two whips, covered in spikes, and held four vials with different liquids in other hands. Judh'Kaius was as tall as two strong men were, but due to that he always moved with his back crooked to such degree, that he seemed more like one big longhorn than a living being, however, his four legs, which he used to move were strong enough to carry his body at fascinating speed, he could easily catch up with the best hounds, horses or even land drakes. On his face, the demon had no mouth, but he had four reptile-like eyes, flickering with the same purple color as the mist covering him.
As Judh'Kaius left the cave it was obvious that he as any other demon was seeking bloodbath. There're no records of demons coming to the human world with peaceful goals, same goes for the Three Harbingers of Peace.
Both Lin and Aldrick noticed the sudden burst of magic energy, coming from within the depths of the caverns. They nodded to each other and got ready to move, they were familiar with demon-including matters and they immediately knew that it was no simple imp or brute, but a powerful and wicked creature.
The Duo prepared for a hard fight and proceeded further, immobilizing Inuarik cultists on their way.